Monday, March 23, 2015

Ted Cruz Wants To Be The First President Of The U.S. Who Is Not A Natural Born Citizen


Although Ted Cruz's father is a deranged fascist and extremist, it would be simplistic to dismiss the Texas senator as just another scion of a right-wing family displaced by the Cuban Revolution. In fact, when Cruz talks about his dad having fought in the Cuban Revolution and having been jailed and tortured, he is certainly implying that his father was a victim of Castro and the socialist revolutionaries. In reality, though, Rafael Cruz was fighting alongside Castro and was captured by the fascist forces of the brutal Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, who was backed by the U.S. Rafael Cruz snuck out of Cuba for the U.S. in 1957, over a year before Castro defeated Batista. It isn't a part of the family history Ted Cruz has trumpeted. (Marco Rubio has been even more blatant about his parents' departure, outright lying for years about a made-up post-Castro flight, when they had come to the U.S. as economic refugees in early 1956.)

Ironic today that when Batista was defeated for election in 1952 and led a successful coup against the government, one of the first things he did was embrace something that today's Republicans are using as a motivating and organizing principle around their own presidential campaigns-- especially Scott Walker and Ted Cruz: crushing unions and siding with the wealthy and powerful in a way that stagnated the economy and widened the income gap between the 1% and everyone else.

Today, at Jerry Falwell's Liberty "University," Cruz skipped the exploratory committee bullshit and flat out announced he's running for the Republican nomination for President. His game plan is consolidating the teabagger and anti-America base of the party and then becoming the second choice of everyone who is backing the Establishment's intellectual lightweights like Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie. He has to appeal directly to the the worst instincts of the haters and bigots who dominate much of the GOP and skip right over the Establishment powerbrokers who try to control the messaging and the money flows.

Cruz's polling numbers have been third-rate, but that should turn around smartly as he identifies himself aggressively with the worst elements of the GOP. The most recent CNN poll shows him tied with Rick Perry with 4%, behind Jeb Bush (16%), Scott Walker (13%), Rand Paul (12%), Mike Huckabee (10%), Ben Carson (9%), Marco Rubio (7%) and Chris Christie (7%). Worse yet, a recent McClatchy-Marist poll shows he would be a devastating drag on the GOP ticket. Hillary, who handily beats all the Republican dwarves, beats Cruz best of all.
Hillary (49%) - Rubio (42%)
Hillary (48%) - Walker (44%)
Hillary (51%) - Perry (42%)
Hillary (49%) - Bush (42%)
Hillary (51%) - Paul (40%)
Hillary (53%) - Cruz (39%)
No one will be able to get to the right of Cruz, who is a real-life extremist and whose self-referencing Hate Talk Radio platitudes will appeal better to Iowa caucus-goers than to general election voters. Yes, he wants to end Social Security.

Yesterday, though, Charlie LeDuff, writing for Vice, took another look at a question that will be coming up again and again: Is Ted Cruz even constitutionally qualified to run for President? What makes him a "natural born citizen," since he freely admits he was born in Canada? LeDuff ran into him in an Iowa parking lot and tried hashing it out.

Atttendance mandatory

"I am the son of an immigrant who came 58 years ago from Cuba — came legally," Cruz told me out in the parking lot. "And I think Americans are agreed that amnesty is wrong."

He was wearing a tie and no jacket. Midwesterners love a guy who takes his jacket off. Makes him look like he knows what he's doing.

Cruz was shorter than I'd expected, with a tablespoon too much hair product and a suit wrinkled by miles on the cabbage patch stump. By my unofficial count, he has made more trips to Iowa than to the Texas border since becoming the Lone Star State's junior senator two years ago. If you want to be president, you have to be in Iowa, I'm told.

"If we allow people who came here illegally to be put on a path to citizenship," Cruz continued, "that is incredibly unfair to those who follow the rules."

Biscuits like that have helped make the senator a Tea Party darling and the bus driver of the far-right express. He is a Latino whose stump speech about his father's "legal" path to the American Dream is by now a well-polished plum that recounts a Tony Montana-esque journey from Cuban political prisoner to Texas dishwasher to Canadian oilman to American evangelical pastor.

In fact, Cruz offered up his father to the Ag Summit attendees as an example of the right way to be an immigrant. Before coming to America, Cruz said, his father was "imprisoned and tortured in Cuba."

What Cruz did not tell the audience of crusty conservatives-- and what I did not know until I got back to my writing desk a few days later-- was that Cruz's father, Rafael, actually fought alongside Fidel Castro's communist forces. He was captured and jailed and beaten by the regime of Fulgencio Batista, the US-backed dictator.

Somehow, despite the fact that he was a rebel fighting alongside communists, Rafael was released from the dictator's prison sometime around 1957 and accepted to the University of Texas. He then made it to America on a student visa when a family friend bribed a Cuban crony to stamp his exit visa. How a Cuban rebel could get a visa into the United States in the 1950s without lying about aiding and abetting Castro is beyond me. Lying on a visa application is grounds for deportation.

I'd love to see the original document, Senator. I mean, if you're seriously running for president.

A few years back, when the birther conspiracy against Obama was in full bloom, Pastor Rafael Cruz told a Texas audience that he'd "like to send [Obama] back to Kenya."

President Barack Obama's father was an African Muslim. That doesn't sit well with the nativists. But Cruz's daddy was, by his son's own admission, "a guerrilla, throwing Molotov cocktails and blowing up buildings" while fighting for Castro against a US-backed regime. Hardly the Horatio Alger biography required from the hard-right.

There's more.

Rafael married an American woman named Eleanor, and they moved to Canada to chase their American dream in the Alberta oil fields. Rafael got Canadian citizenship, got drunk a lot, got his wife pregnant, and got Jesus.

At least Obama can rightfully claim that Hawaii-- where he was born-- is part of America. That gives the president a leg up on Pastor Cruz's son Ted, who was born in Calgary in 1970. (That's in Canada.) Pastor Cruz did not become an American citizen until 2005.

Remember, you can't be president of the United States unless you're a "natural born Citizen." The question of Cruz's nationality centers on his mother, who claims on his Canadian birth certificate to be an American citizen raised in Delaware.

I believe that his mother is an American-- I'm no conspiracy kook. But Cruz is the Pied Piper of the Tea Party movement, the ones who were peddling the narrative of Obama as a mongrel Manchurian Candidate.

Certainly those people will want to see Cruz's proof of citizenship as well. Did his mother live in the United States for at least 10 years-- with at least five of them coming after her 14th birthday-- as required by US law at the time of her son's birth?

Maybe next time we meet in Iowa, Cruz will show me her report cards to prove it.
Aside from Cruz, though, other serious and semi-serious Republicans looking to run for president are Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Donald Trump, Peter King, George Pataki... and some even more minor characters.

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At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Bil said...

Pretty excited about the GOP clowncar primary.
We build our social calendar around it.
We NEED Santorum, eww, and somebody
PLEASE convince Bachmann that Jeebus still wants
her to be president, and Marcus first whatever.
Not to be outdone, Queen Ann still has the
White House drapes measured and inauguration gowns packed away and can certainly throw a better party than Michelle, remember Mitt SAVED the Olympics.

Oh BOY, THIS is GREAT! (H/t Flounder ;~)


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